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Old 11-26-2013, 07:07 PM   #871
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwch99tj View Post
You'll be fine, I've got nearly 250k miles on mine on original front suspension and steering components all except one tierod end I just replaced and have never hat a twitch of death wobble... It's not as common of a problem as the Internet makes it seem
Thanks for the reassurance, I appreciate it.

As I was reading all those posts, I started to look for a common link. But really couldn't find one. People who experience(d) this issue had very new and low mileage ones, lifted ones, older ones, stock ones, etc, etc. No one trait that linked them all together. I agree that this thread is a catch basin for the problem, thus magnifying it, but how many are out there that did not post here?

You have a Jeep with 250K and never had this problem. What are you doing different? What advice can you give to others to avoid it? I was (repeat, WAS) considering adding a lift kit of some type. Now I am not so sure this is a prudent thing to do to it. Are there any others out there with lift kits that have not had this problem and if so, what did you do differently?

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Old 11-26-2013, 07:28 PM   #872
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My DW didn't come until 340k miles. That's when I rotated my tires without getting them balanced.. Bad idea.

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Old 11-26-2013, 09:36 PM   #873
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Originally Posted by paratrooper34 View Post

Thanks for the reassurance, I appreciate it.

As I was reading all those posts, I started to look for a common link. But really couldn't find one. People who experience(d) this issue had very new and low mileage ones, lifted ones, older ones, stock ones, etc, etc. No one trait that linked them all together. I agree that this thread is a catch basin for the problem, thus magnifying it, but how many are out there that did not post here?

You have a Jeep with 250K and never had this problem. What are you doing different? What advice can you give to others to avoid it? I was (repeat, WAS) considering adding a lift kit of some type. Now I am not so sure this is a prudent thing to do to it. Are there any others out there with lift kits that have not had this problem and if so, what did you do differently?
I have a small budget boost lift (1.75") and 31‘s on mine now...
Best thing I can suggest is make sure you have a propper alignment keep up with tire rotations and balanced tires, I check alignment (my toe in) every other rotation
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Old 11-26-2013, 10:39 PM   #874
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Originally Posted by paratrooper34 View Post
Thanks for the reassurance, I appreciate it. As I was reading all those posts, I started to look for a common link. But really couldn't find one. People who experience(d) this issue had very new and low mileage ones, lifted ones, older ones, stock ones, etc, etc. No one trait that linked them all together. I agree that this thread is a catch basin for the problem, thus magnifying it, but how many are out there that did not post here? You have a Jeep with 250K and never had this problem. What are you doing different? What advice can you give to others to avoid it? I was (repeat, WAS) considering adding a lift kit of some type. Now I am not so sure this is a prudent thing to do to it. Are there any others out there with lift kits that have not had this problem and if so, what did you do differently?
The most common link or progression:

Insufficiently torqued trackbar bolts or worn axle side trackbar end.

Leads to ovaling of the axle side trackbar bracket hole.

Leads to wobbles that damage the drag link and tie rod ends.

Leads to premature wear of the lower ball joints.

Leads to destruction of the control arm and trackbar bushings.

Leads to premature failure of the unit bearings.

Leads to premature failure of the steering stabilizer.



The common link for lifted jeeps is that people don't loosen all the trackbar and control arm bolts and wait to retorque the bolts until after the full weight of the vehicle is back on the ground at the new ride height. As a result, the softer control arm and trackbar bushings are twisted/pre-loaded/binding to the wrong ride height, resulting in premature bushing failure.

Additionally, people don't maintain their jeeps properly, which requires periodically retorquing suspension bolts--particularly the trackbar bolts at every oil change frequency.


Many run unbalanced tires or poor alignments that result in vibrations and shimmies that work bolts loose and cause bushing damage.
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Old 11-26-2013, 11:26 PM   #875
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Thanks planman, your posts over the course of this thread were very helpful. I did notice a lot of references to the trackbar. It was hard to pick one suspect part from so many of the posts claiming new rotors or ball joints or whatever fixed the issue. So I think I got it. Keep an eye on the trackbar, make sure tires are balanced, and alignment is correct. Periodic inspections of the peripherals to ensure their serviceability and everything should be good. I think I will still stay away from a lift until I better understand how to make it work correctly. Time for more reading.

That was very informative, thanks.
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Old 11-30-2013, 10:55 AM   #876
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Thanks planman, your posts over the course of this thread were very helpful. I did notice a lot of references to the trackbar. <snip> I think I will still stay away from a lift until I better understand how to make it work correctly. Time for more reading.

That was very informative, thanks.
+1 on this! Big thanks for the good questions para34 et al and great answer planman!
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Old 11-30-2013, 11:00 AM   #877
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Originally Posted by planman View Post
The most common link or progression:

Insufficiently torqued trackbar bolts or worn axle side trackbar end.
<snip>

Additionally, people don't maintain their jeeps properly, which requires periodically retorquing suspension bolts--particularly the trackbar bolts at every oil change frequency.
<snip>
I will pay attention to this. Is it OK to torque these bolts with normal load or should I jack the wheel off the ground first?

I am learning a lot on this forum, thanks everyone!
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Old 12-01-2013, 10:47 AM   #878
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I will pay attention to this. Is it OK to torque these bolts with normal load or should I jack the wheel off the ground first? I am learning a lot on this forum, thanks everyone!
Any bolt that goes through a rubber or polyurethane bushing must only be torqued with the full weight of the vehicle on the suspension--never with the wheel off the ground unless the axle is on jack stands, holding the full weight of the vehicle.

People who torque bolts with the suspension drooped (ie on a car lift) or who fail to loosen all control arm and trackbar bolts for a lift install have their bushing preloaded/twisting/binding to a non-neutral position at ride height. This results in premature bushing failure and contributes to death wobble.
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Old 12-01-2013, 07:19 PM   #879
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In an attempt to fix my death wobble today I took the jeep to get an alignment. That seems to have checked out, but, on my way home I got some violent shaking around 45.

I do hear some "clunking" when turning from a stop like backing out of a spot and three point turning. Is this indicative of the front trac being lose/not torqued down correctly? Upon checking when I got home, there was nothing lose on the steering linkage, but, the front trac had a little play on it.

I've been running into some issues torquing the bolts down to spec. I'm not sure how common it is, but, my year D44 apparently has this tab system for the axle side mount.




Are there any suggestions as far as supporting or holding that tab solid while torquing it to spec? I'd rather not depend on the tab pressing against the axel housing, that seems like a great way to get it to snap. Any suggestions? I've also seen the spec is 40 ft/lbs, but the kit suggests 75 ft/lbs, which is it? I've heard (I think here) this stock bolt may snap above 40 ft/lbs.

Since I am not sure if it's the axle side that's the issue, here is the driver's side connection to the body:



Does that angle look correct? I'm having a serious issue getting the torque wrench in this space to get it to spec. Any suggestions?


Overall, am I correct in assuming that a lose front trac bar could create a "clunking" sound when turning the wheel a bit when starting to get moving?

Thanks all!
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Old 12-02-2013, 11:14 AM   #880
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planman View Post
Any bolt that goes through a rubber or polyurethane bushing must only be torqued with the full weight of the vehicle on the suspension--never with the wheel off the ground unless the axle is on jack stands, holding the full weight of the vehicle.

People who torque bolts with the suspension drooped (ie on a car lift) or who fail to loosen all control arm and trackbar bolts for a lift install have their bushing preloaded/twisting/binding to a non-neutral position at ride height. This results in premature bushing failure and contributes to death wobble.
This is _Very_ helpful info, thanks Montana!
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Old 12-02-2013, 11:45 AM   #881
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Originally Posted by Rubi04Jeep View Post
<snip> Since I am not sure if it's the axle side that's the issue, here is the driver's side connection to the body:



Does that angle look correct? I'm having a serious issue getting the torque wrench in this space to get it to spec. Any suggestions?
<snip>
Thanks for posting photos, makes it a lot easier to follow tech discussions. I think I will photograph the critical points of my suspension while my Jeep is still new, for future reference.
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Old 12-15-2013, 10:48 PM   #882
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I had the DW after installing 2.5 lift. as soon as the Jeep hit 50 miles, the DW kik-in.
I changed the steering dumper, but no luck. I changed the tires (need to be changed any way) with wheel alignment / balanced ... DW disappear ...
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Old 12-23-2013, 12:40 AM   #883
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..

interesting
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Old 01-07-2014, 07:47 AM   #884
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Okay, going out on a limb here and gonna ask a question. After reading all of these posts on DEATH WOBBLE, I get the impression that if I go in and replace everything on my front end to include trackbar, torqued trackbar bolts, axle side trackbar end, axle side trackbar brackets, drag link and tie rod ends, lower ball joints, control arm and trackbar bushings, unit bearings and finally the steering stabilizer/dampner, then make sure all bolts are torqued properly while the wheels are on the ground, Front end alignment with the caster set at 4.0 - 5.0 and have my tires balanced properly This should fix the DEATH WOBBLE? That would be everything mentioned in these posts. I don't want to fix one thing, then have to fix another when that wasn't the problem and then another. If I go in and do change it ALL at the same time, will that fix the DEATH WOBBLE? Ballpark figure, how much $$ would that cost? I am not a mechanic and know nothing about this kind of stuff. The items I listed to change out are just items I saw in most of the posts, did I leave anything out that could possibly be causing the WOBBLE? I love my JEEP!
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Old 01-07-2014, 09:54 AM   #885
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Yeah, don't do that. M
First off, go get your wheels and tires balanced and rotated. Done?
Still have DW?
Check your tie rod ends for side to side movement. Or, if you really feel good, you can disconnect parts to see if that joint is worn out or not.
Then replace trackbar bushings if those are worn.
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Old 01-08-2014, 12:46 PM   #886
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Death Wobble

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Originally Posted by robert524 View Post
Okay, going out on a limb here and gonna ask a question. After reading all of these posts on DEATH WOBBLE, I get the impression that if I go in and replace everything on my front end to include trackbar, torqued trackbar bolts, axle side trackbar end, axle side trackbar brackets, drag link and tie rod ends, lower ball joints, control arm and trackbar bushings, unit bearings and finally the steering stabilizer/dampner, then make sure all bolts are torqued properly while the wheels are on the ground, Front end alignment with the caster set at 4.0 - 5.0 and have my tires balanced properly This should fix the DEATH WOBBLE? That would be everything mentioned in these posts. I don't want to fix one thing, then have to fix another when that wasn't the problem and then another. If I go in and do change it ALL at the same time, will that fix the DEATH WOBBLE? Ballpark figure, how much $$ would that cost? I am not a mechanic and know nothing about this kind of stuff. The items I listed to change out are just items I saw in most of the posts, did I leave anything out that could possibly be causing the WOBBLE? I love my JEEP!
I have been away from this forum for quite a while because I caused an uproar by not being very diplomatic and politically correct. I see many things have not changed. These things drive me to want to say what I think, and that's why the uproar started, so I will leave that part alone.
Let me say first, I do not claim to know it all… but I will say that I have one heck of a lot more experience with DW repairs than most. (EXPERIENCE being the prime word)
Years ago, I wrote an article on DW. In fact, it was written before JKs were in existence. With the exception of the way the front track bar is hung from the frame end and the lengths of the control arms, the suspensions are basically unchanged, so what was written still applies.
If you want to know the correct way to diagnose and repair DW, please go to: Happy Trails 4wd: Death Wobble
There you will find things you are not hearing from all the untrained experts about balancing tires and such that are wasting your time with. These "little" things can and often do make a major difference in repairing DW on a wrangler. (many other vehicles as well, but the article is specifically wrangler related).
Take the time to watch the Teraflex videos. They don't get into specifics on the DW problem, but if you understand the basics of the Alignment procedure well and are mechanically inclined sufficiently, you can see some of what the article is telling you better.
Note: Even though the suspension Teraflex is aligning is likely far more advanced than yours is, the basics are still the same.
Good luck and Happy Trails
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Old 01-08-2014, 01:44 PM   #887
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I'm sure he saw that post the other near hundred times you've posted it
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Old 01-10-2014, 03:15 AM   #888
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Thumbs up agreed

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Originally Posted by Hebera View Post
03 Rubi the main improvement you made that affects DW is the adjustable track bar. The length position and orientation of the track bar is one of the main contributerreading , second to steering box placement and since most of us dont really wanna relocate our steering systems that is usually the best first step, after you take care of the basic maintenance stuff (alignment, tire balance)

I had death wobble in the 3 jeeps ive owned!!! My 88 Cherokee, 97 wrangler with 2.5l, and now the 2002 wrangler with 2.5l all have had death wobble. The track bar goes bar after some off roading abuse. If you get an aftermarket track bar look at the shape of it compared to the stock one! The stock one is built to avoid the axle with the bend in it. Most after market don't. But ive had good luck with the rustys offroad track bar set up. Its almost $300 but well worth it.
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Old 01-25-2014, 01:36 AM   #889
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I know this is the TJ area, but I wanted to thank everyone that has posted on this issue. I experienced the dreaded DW on my stock 2008 Wrangler JK about a week ago at about 118,000 miles. I had read briefly of the experience just lurking around, but didn't think a lot about it.

It was immediately obvious once it happened that this was what people were posting about. Thanks to all of the information I had picked up, I was able to accurately depict the problem for my Jeep service dept. They were unable to duplicate the problem, but I was able to keep them on target. A new steering damper seems to have fixed the problem.

Thanks again.
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Old 01-25-2014, 12:06 PM   #890
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Originally Posted by go4soda View Post
I know this is the TJ area, but I wanted to thank everyone that has posted on this issue. I experienced the dreaded DW on my stock 2008 Wrangler JK about a week ago at about 118,000 miles. I had read briefly of the experience just lurking around, but didn't think a lot about it. It was immediately obvious once it happened that this was what people were posting about. Thanks to all of the information I had picked up, I was able to accurately depict the problem for my Jeep service dept. They were unable to duplicate the problem, but I was able to keep them on target. A new steering damper seems to have fixed the problem. Thanks again.
Stop. A steering stabilizer never stops death wobble. It only masks the problem. Go back and find the real problem. When you can not create death wobble with no steering stabilizer installed you know it is fixed and not until then.
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Old 01-25-2014, 02:16 PM   #891
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Stop. A steering stabilizer never stops death wobble. It only masks the problem. Go back and find the real problem. When you can not create death wobble with no steering stabilizer installed you know it is fixed and not until then.
Right

Read PlanMans writeup and watch his two videos in the Jk tech sticky reference. Link in my sig line below v
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Old 02-14-2014, 05:16 PM   #892
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I don't know about anyone else, but my TJ throws itself all over the road if it goes over a horizontal bump (across the whole lane or just one tire) and feels like it's going to land in the ditch.

I don't know if this is what you are all calling "death wobble," because it sounds like what you're all feeling is in the steering wheel. I am feeling the tires slightly "turning" once coming over the bump but my impression is that it's more of the rear suspension reacting to the bump independently from the front <- thoughts?

I'll be looking over the whole front end tonight and figuring out what looks like it needs to be replaced, considering after wheeling last weekend I need to center my steering wheel.

NOTE: I live in IL - and our roads here are HORRIBLE from the freezing/thawing which causes ripples in the road. I'm not looking for a Cadillac type ride, but I'd like to know if this is expected or if there are components that need replacing.
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Old 02-14-2014, 10:49 PM   #893
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I don't know about anyone else, but my TJ throws itself all over the road if it goes over a horizontal bump (across the whole lane or just one tire) and feels like it's going to land in the ditch.

I don't know if this is what you are all calling "death wobble," because it sounds like what you're all feeling is in the steering wheel. I am feeling the tires slightly "turning" once coming over the bump but my impression is that it's more of the rear suspension reacting to the bump independently from the front <- thoughts?

I'll be looking over the whole front end tonight and figuring out what looks like it needs to be replaced, considering after wheeling last weekend I need to center my steering wheel.

NOTE: I live in IL - and our roads here are HORRIBLE from the freezing/thawing which causes ripples in the road. I'm not looking for a Cadillac type ride, but I'd like to know if this is expected or if there are components that need replacing.
Do you have a dropped Pitman arm?? Kind of sounds like bump steer.
Check track bar connections as well.

Tire pressure??
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Old 02-14-2014, 10:52 PM   #894
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Do you have a dropped Pitman arm?? Kind of sounds like bump steer.
Check track bar connections as well.

Tire pressure??
You know, there is a gap which I noticed tonight but I tightened the nut 100% but there was still a gap. Track bar checked.

Tire pressure is 25PSI
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Old 02-14-2014, 11:00 PM   #895
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Do you have a dropped Pitman arm?? Kind of sounds like bump steer.
Check track bar connections as well.

Tire pressure??
Obviously I had no idea what you were talking about with the whole dropped pitman arm, but I believe it does. From the PO
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Old 02-14-2014, 11:21 PM   #896
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Obviously I had no idea what you were talking about with the whole dropped pitman arm, but I believe it does. From the PO
Same experience I had when I bought my Jeep.
Find a stock Pitman arm, then reset your toe in. My guess is it will be a night and day difference in handling.

Also, do a dry steer test and watch the track bars and tie rod end for any movement/looseness.

I had slight dead spot in steering after I took care of everything else, and found a little wobble on frame side of front track bar. Tightened it up with long breaker bar, and drives much better.
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Old 02-14-2014, 11:25 PM   #897
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Stock vs dropped Pitman fyi
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Old 02-15-2014, 08:14 AM   #898
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Stock vs dropped Pitman fyi
Question, why would the previous owner install a dropped pitman arm, if its going to cause all these issues? Because of the lift?
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Old 02-15-2014, 08:19 AM   #899
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Question, why would the previous owner install a dropped pitman arm, if its going to cause all these issues? Because of the lift?
Some lifts include them in the "package" so people install them thinking they're necessary
you should only install one if you have a drop track bar mount also
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Old 02-15-2014, 08:23 AM   #900
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwch99tj View Post

Some lifts include them in the "package" so people install them thinking they're necessary
you should only install one if you have a drop track bar mount also
I don't, so that's good to know. Man, I'm learning a ton about how all this works. Thanks for all the help.

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